When Dries Van Noten opened the doors to its very first American brick-and-mortar store in Los Angeles last October, it did so with aims to extend beyond the typical retail shopping experience. Located on La Cienega Boulevard, the Los Angeles store boasts an open layout with 8500 square feet comprising two houses separated by a vast parking lot, The Big and Little Houses. According to the brand, The Big House will house Dries Van Noten current collections and a curated selection of garments from his archives for purchase. Each house will exhibit works by artists, designers and craftspeople whose work has impressed Dries Van Noten. The Little House will feature the work of others exclusively. Beginning April 1, nonconformist artist Misha Kahn’s “Watermelon Party” exhibition will be on view through May 6.
The exhibition explores a social experiment of sorts. Per the release, “A few months into quarantine, from his parents’ house in Duluth, Minnesota, their neighbors invited his family over for a watermelon party. For weeks leading up to the event, starved for socialization, they speculated what might happen at the watermelon party.” “Watermelon Party” includes a domestic setting featuring Kahn’s VR-created Claymation furniture. Table lamps in a diverse range of materials, from auto-painted resin to ceramic, will also be on view. Dries Van Noten and Kahn have collaborated on a limited-edition printed silk bomber jacket and T-shirt. Kahn has lent his imagination with an original motif for these garments, designed by Van Noten.
“In my scatterbrained, depressed stupor of a year, this watermelon party suggested purpose,” Kahn explained in a press release. “It gave a bunch of random people, grouped together by proximity, an antidote to isolation. In a way, that’s what I’m always striving for in my work: an irreverent, all-ages serving of mystery with a big spoonful of why. In my practice, I’m constantly throwing around new materials and processes, forever looking for a binding force, something to explain the why of it all to the outside world. And maybe it’s simpler than I thought. Maybe it’s just a watermelon party two Tuesdays from now.”